Lady Bulldogs clip Cardinals, fall to Mounders

The home floor and a sizable first-quarter advantage proved to be the difference when the Boyceville girls basketball team traveled to Elk Mound Friday, March 1 for a WIAA Division 4 girls’ regional semifinal showdown.

The pair split their regular season games with each winning on its home court, so when Boyceville advanced with a 51-39 home win over a pesky Cardinal squad from Spring Valley in last Tuesday’s (Feb. 26) opening round of regional play it was looking to undo that trend and return home with a victory and berth in the following night’s regional championship in Cameron.

Instead, the Lady Mounders used a 19-8 first-quarter advantage that featured a 13-1 run to end the Bulldogs playoffs and season as they went on to post a 53-41 win. The Mounders would fall 65-41 the following evening to the Cameron Comets.

Despite playing even with Elk Mound in the final three quarters, Boyceville was never able to overcome its first quarter deficit even with strong efforts from senior Kysa Franseen and junior April Lake, who led the Bulldogs in scoring with 15 and 10 points respectively. Boyceville finished the season 11-13 and were 8-8 in Dunn-St. Croix Conference action.

Brooklynn Blaser and Abbey Bird netted a pair of baskets to give the Bulldogs a quick 4-0 lead but the Mounders would respond with an 11-0 run as Jamie Solem and Kaysi Meindel nailed treys to give a 10-4 advantage to the home squad. Lake would break the run with a free throw but Sarah Winchester put down the Mounders’ third triple of the opening frame increase its lead to 13-5.

Lake would get the score inside for Boyceville only to have Meindel respond with her second three-pointer of the period. Josie Hayes would add a fast layin and the two squads would trade free tosses as the first eight minutes expired with the Mounders in charge 19-8.

Elk Mound continued to find the bottom of the net, going on a 6-1 run in the first 90 seconds of the second stanza to build their lead to 25-9 with Hayes, Meindel and McKenna McVey all scoring from close range.

But the well went dry for more than six minutes and they came up with just a single free throw by Hayes with three seconds left in the half while the Bulldogs came up with six points, four by senior Kysa Franseen, and the Mounders lead was down to 11 at 26-15.

Lake would put Boyceville on the board with a solid inside basket but the Hayes sisters would put the Mounders’ lead back to 13 points. Emma scored on a text-book give-and-go while Josie sank a turnaround in the lane for the 30-17 lead.

But Boyceville would not surrender. Franseen sparked a 8-0 Bulldog run with a pair of baskets and two free tosses after Josie Hayes picked up her fourth foul. Katelyn Merten capped the effort with a steal that resulted in a basket that cut the Mounders lead to 30-25 with 3:46 to play in the third.

McKenna McVey finally broke the Bulldogs’  run with a shot from the paint, then added two more buckets to go with a pair of Solem free throws to build the Mounders’ lead back up to 38-27. Franseen and Emma Hayes traded baskets and the Elk Mound lead stayed at 11 points, 40-29 entering the final quarter.

Franseen continued to lead the Boyceville offensive attack as she hit a bucket and tossed in one from the charity stripe to cut the Elk Mound lead to single digits at 41-32. But the Mounders, despite having front line players Josie Hayes and Kaysi Meindel saddled with four fouls each were able keep the Bulldogs at bay.

Elk Mound preserved the lead and win at the free throw line as it made 10 of 15 tries. The Mounders had only one basket in the final stanza but it was a big one as Sarah Winchester sank her second basket and trey of the game for a 51-37 lead.

Franseen and Merten hit baseline corner shots but it was not enough as the Bulldogs fell short by a dozen, 53-41.

Besides their team-leading point totals, Lake and Franseen led on the boards with Lake pulling down nine and Franseen six. Abbey Bird, who has been hobbled by a stress fracture in her foot, had to be carried off the court in the third quarter only to return a half minute later, and finished with six points. Brooklynn Blaser and Katelyn Merten each finished with four points. The Bulldogs also had 22 turnovers.

Boyceville downs Spring Valley

The playoffs are a new season and the Spring Valley girls took that old adage to heart when they came to Boyceville last Tuesday, February 26 for the opening round of the WIAA Division 4 basketball tournament.

Despite winning just four games during the regular season and but one in the Dunn-St. Croix,  the Cardinals gave the Bulldogs a battle throughout the quarterfinal’s contest. Boyceville, behind a 17-point effort from ailing sophomore guard Abbey Bird, was able to stave off the Cardinals’ upset attempt and prevailed, 51-39.

Boyceville head coach Jolene Bird was trying to find some much needed respite for daughter Abbey, who had been playing with a stress fracture in her foot, but Spring Valley just would not allow it.

It seemed every time Abbey Bird left the floor, the Cardinals would make a run at the Bulldogs. Spring Valley kept the game close through out and even cut the lead to six in the third quarter.

Boyceville held an 8-4 lead after a low scoring first quarter of play.

The Bulldogs were able to extend their advantage to 11 points and led 28-17 at the intermission.

But Spring Valley would not fly away and perch. Instead the Cardinals outscored the Bulldogs 10-8 in the third. Boyceville, however, was able to secure the win as it regained the advantage in the final frame with a 16-13 scoring advantage for the 51-39 victory.

Bird’s 17 points included a pair of treys and five for six at the freethrow line. April Lake netted 14 points, including eight in the fourth quarter alone. Katelyn Merten also hit double digits with ten points, including two three-pointers. Kysa Franseen chipped in for eight points on four baskets.

The Cardinals were led by Emily Boisen, who finished with 16 points. Nine different Cardinals hit the scoring column.